Continued Pandemic Prevention Procedures at WCIB

Below you can find key details of our procedures, protocols and principles for the safest reasonable operation of our campus during the continued Pandemic Prevention time. You can also access a very simple picture guide here.

Everyday Prevention Handbook January 2021

As the situation in Thailand continues to change, we may need to further update procedures accordingly. In doing this, we will always let you know of any changes that may affect you or your child.

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Covid-19: General Information

A note on science

Wellington College’s procedures are all science-based. Whilst scientific conclusions are sometimes proven to have been wrong*, they are still many, many, many times more reliable than guesswork, rumour, tradition, opinion, belief, petitions, conspiracy theories or any other way of coming to decisions about what to do.

*Indeed, it is a basic principle of science that we change our minds when we discover new information

Transmission

The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another.

It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.

These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Patterns of Transmission

The best current information on transmission in both homes and schools suggests that transmission from child to child, and from child to adult, is very low indeed.

Adults can transmit the virus to children, although children (above 1 year old) usually experience mild or very mild symptoms.

Adult-to-adult transmission, where there are no safety measures in place, is relatively high.

Any adult can experience a severe case of Covid-19. Severity depends on the viral load. Some underlying medical conditions can inhibit the immune response, leading to a higher chance of a severe reaction.

What Parents Must Do Before Returning to the Campus

Travel Declaration Form

The Thai Government requires the school to collect travel history for all students. Please ensure that you complete the form here each week, returning to your child’s Class Teacher or House Tutor every Monday morning.

The school will hold this information and only share it with authorities if requested to do so.

Key Principles for Prevention

Masks and PPE

Masks reduce the number of water droplets entering the environment from people exhaling. Masks also prevent the wearer from touching their nose or mouth and therefore reduce the chance of transmission. They provide a good level of protection when worn by 80+% of the community.

Therefore, Staff, Students and Parents must wear a mask at all times when on campus. Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth, be appropriately tight and be put on before entering the campus.

Masks should not be removed for speaking, singing, coughing etc. Any activity that involves expelling water particles without a mask is prohibited. This includes smoking, which is not permitted on campus anyway, and spitting – including brushing teeth.

Masks must be fit for purpose and designed as masks (not headscarfs or bandanas). They may be patterned but should be school-appropriate and not distracting, rude or otherwise unbecoming of the Wellington community.

Masks that have a valve are not allowed. The valve allows the air you breathe out to enter the room unfiltered. This means that it is not effective in protecting others.

Multiple masks may be necessary to maintain hygiene and comfort throughout the day. Parents may pack spare masks to be changed at lunchtime.

Drinking with a mask: a mask can be lowered to take a drink. One should ensure social distance at these times and turn one’s back to others until the mask is replaced.

Eating with a mask: masks must be completely removed while eating. Hands must be washed with soap and water before removing and returning mask. Students are distanced when eating.

Oxygen and carbon dioxide: there is very little evidence that healthy people over the age of 2 suffer any adverse effects from prolonged mask use, unless they are engaged in very vigorous exercise. Carbon dioxide poisoning, or ‘hypercapnia’, does not occur: both oxygen and carbon dioxide pass readily through the material of a face mask, in and out. There are opportunities during the school day for students to safely remove their masks (including when they are playing outside and taking part in PE lessons.) We advise changing masks at least once a day, but this is for comfort.

Face Shields: for some staff roles and activities (eg nursing), face shields may be required. These must always be worn in addition to masks. Students may wear them in addition to their masks if they wish but there is no good reason for them to do so.

Goggles: staff, students or parents may wear goggles or glasses if desired, though these are not required by school.

Gloves: gloves do not provide the same level of cleanliness or protection as regular handwashing and should therefore not be worn by parents, students or teachers. Some non-academic roles (eg nursing) may require gloves for the wearer’s protection.

Temperature Checks

An elevated temperature is a common indication that the body is fighting a virus and could indicate the presence of Covid-19.

All staff, students and parents are required to undergo temperature checks every time they enter the building.

Manual temperature check (forehead scanner): taken by a School Nurse, in the usual way, outside the entrance to the Lobby. All visitors and members of the school must have this check before being allowed to enter the building. No-one may enter with a confirmed temperature of over 37.5°C.

Infrared Thermal Scanner: this is located inside the Lobby and everyone must pass it on their way into the school. The computer automatically logs everyone’s scanned temperature and an alarm sounds if it is over 37.5°C. In such a case, a Nurse will do an accurate body-temperature check using a sanitised underarm thermometer.

Class Teachers complete a further temperature check of all students between 10 and 11am.

Any individual whose temperature is found to be above 37.5°C (or is displaying other symptoms of Covid-19) during the day will be taken to the Isolation Room and must return home directly from there.

Handwashing

The virus is covered by a protective protein casing. It is too fragile to survive without this protein and needs it to attach to cells in the body (coronavirus cannot spread inside the body without entering a cell). Effective handwashing breaks down the external protein and the virus is then not able to survive or spread.

Soap and water is most effective at destroying the barrier (more bubbles = more protein breakdown). At least twenty seconds is needed to break down the protein barrier.

Alcohol-based Hand Sanitiser is also effective, where soap and water are not immediately available.

All students and staff must sanitise their hands on entry to the school building. Thorough hand washing must be repeated at regularly throughout the day, and always before eating. Where possible, this will be with soap and water.

Social Distancing

The closer you are to someone who is infected, the greater the risk. Understanding of how viruses travel has developed significantly since experiments into distance were performed. The WHO suggests that a distance of 1 metre is enough to disrupt, though not to eliminate, the pattern of infection. This is backed up by evidence which suggests most bigger droplets, which contain the highest concentration of virus, fall to the ground quickly as a result of gravity.

This distance alone should not be considered safe without other measures in place.

Students are taught to keep distanced from each other whenever possible, and adults are also expected to do this whilst on campus.

Throughout the school, furniture has been rearranged to enforce social distancing at all times.

Signs are provided throughout school and students are educated on the reasons for, and importance of, Social Distancing.

With the youngest children, effective social distancing is not possible at all times, although it is still encouraged wherever possible.

Symptoms and Contact-Tracing

Any adult or student experiencing one or more common symptoms of Covid-19 must not enter the school building until they have been cleared by a doctor.

Most common symptoms:

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness

Other symptoms:

  • aches and pains.
  • sore throat.
  • diarrhoea.
  • conjunctivitis.
  • headache.
  • loss of taste or smell.
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • chest pain or pressure.
  • loss of speech or movement.

All students and staff who have left school during the day due to Covid-19-like symptoms must provide a Doctor’s medical certificate stating they are safe to return to school following any period of absence.

Staff and parents must inform the school immediately if they have been in contact with a confirmed or (medically) suspected case.

Adults on Campus

Risk of transmission is highest between adults. Limiting adults on campus limits the possibility of transmission.

In general, visitors are not allowed on the school campus during the Pandemic Prevention Period. Where visits are essential, appointments must be made in advance and full safety procedures followed.

Parents are admitted on to campus when it is necessary to collect their child. In this instance, only one adult is permitted per child. Once a child is collected, parents must leave the campus immediately.

Early Years parents only are allowed on campus to drop their child to their classroom in the morning, however again only one adult per child is permitted, and they must leave promptly.

In general, contact between parents and school staff should be via phone or email. In the rare case that parents need to enter the campus for other reasons, an appointment must be made. Parents without an appointment will be denied entry to the campus. Parents are required to comply with safety requirements as outlined in these pages, and as designated by school staff, without complaint.

Gathering

Social Distancing becomes increasingly difficult to supervise in large groups. Larger numbers make contact tracing more difficult and any outbreak of virus would have more potential spread.

To help with this, our students will be in ‘bubbles’ based on their phase and floor of classroom. Throughout the school day, they will only come into contact with other children in their floor bubble.

Adults waiting on campus to pick up their children will be required to sit in designated socially distanced areas and leave the campus as soon as they have collected their children. Copenhagen will not be open for business and no social gathering is permitted.

Ventilation

Good ventilation reduces the concentration of the virus in the air and therefore reduces the risks from airborne transmission by limiting exposure to any water particles in the air.

HVAC systems run at all times in our school, bringing fresh air into the building. Classroom windows are also opened for at least five minutes every hour (AQI allowing) as well as throughout the lunchtime period.

Doors to all classrooms remain open at all times to further support air flow.

All students will be taken outside for their learning time as much as is possible and will also be outside for all playtimes (AQI and weather permitting).

Cleaning

Common cleaning products such as Dettol and Chlorine are highly effective at killing the virus (external to the human body – they should, of course, never be taken internally). School cleaning staff use these extensively and appropriately in their work.

Deep-Cleaning was performed prior to re-opening and a schedule for all spaces in the school allows for constant, rolling cleaning throughout the day.
Signage will be used to show where cleaning has occurred allowing all staff to remain vigilant of this.

Quarantine

Quarantine remains a vital weapon in the battle against the spread of Covid-19 in Thailand and across the world. Wellington College is fully compliant with all government requirements and monitors any staff who are required to undergo quarantine.

School Routines

Before Coming to School in the Morning

All parents are required to take their children’s temperatures before leaving home to go to school. If the child’s temperature is above 37.5°C, the child must be kept at home and the school informed. Before the child can return to school, a Doctor’s Certificate must be obtained.

Morning Drop-Off

All staff, parents and students must enter through the main entrance, leading to the Lobby.
Social distance markers are provided along the external covered walkway for safe queueing.
All students and parents entering the building must pass through the following steps:

  • Mask check
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Temperature check
  • Shoe sanitisation (mat)
  • Infrared Temperature Scanner check.

Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Reception

Parents may accompany their children to their classrooms but must leave campus quickly and swiftly afterwards. Only one adult per child please.

Parents will not be allowed to accompany children arriving after 7.45am to their classrooms. Children arriving after this time must be dropped at the lobby entrance and a school staff member will take them to their class.

Year 1 to Year 8

Children from Year 1 upwards will walk to their classrooms independently after passing through all safety checks. For safety, teaching staff will supervise them at all times along the walkway and up to their classrooms. No parents of children in Year 1 upwards are allowed on site at drop off time (unless they are dropping off an Early Years sibling).

School Bus

Students’ temperatures are taken before entry to the bus. They must clean their hands with Hand Sanitiser. Seating in the bus is Socially Distanced and masks must be worn. The school bus should arrive after 7am. The bus monitor will monitor and support students as they queue in the Socially Distanced line, ensuring they safely enter the school through the gate.

Afternoon Pick-Up

Arrival is separated into four Time Zones (see table, below). Parents are only permitted onto the campus during their assigned Time Zone. Once a child is collected, families must leave immediately. No waiting or socialising can be permitted during the Pandemic Prevention Period.

Collection Procedure

Only one adult per student may enter the school campus.

Parent security passes will have a Colour Code sticker showing which Time Zone they can collect in.
On arrival at school, parents must present their pass for checking and undergo the temperature screening.

Parents cannot be admitted to school before their Time Zone.

Parents must use Hand Sanitiser before entering the campus and wear a mask at all times.
Parents must strictly adhere to Social Distancing. Furniture must not be moved and parents must not gather.

Students will be dismissed from their normal locations by their class teachers.

Parents and children must leave the campus immediately after collection.

Siblings

Parents with more than one child and different Pick-Up times will not be able to wait on campus between pick-up times. Please contact Mrs Jeffs directly if you are one of these parents. We will find a solution!

Late Parents

Students whose parents are late for Pick-Up will remain with their teacher at the Pick-Up location for 5 minutes after collection time.

The teacher will then return with the student to the classroom, where they will wait at their desk. Late parents must report to the Front Desk on arrival.

Toilets

Toilets are smaller spaces where privacy is required; therefore, Social Distancing must be carefully managed.

  • Every second tap is deactivated and marked ‘out of use’ to ensure distancing at the sinks
  • Toilets are considered high-touch areas therefore taps, handles etc are cleaned very often
  • Queueing spaces are provided if the toilet is already in use when a student arrives
Handwashing

All staff and students wash their hands with soap and water regularly. Training on correct handwashing is provided for all staff and students and there is a Handwashing poster by each sink.

Eating and Drinking

As masks are removed for eating, other safety measures are increased, including distance between students. Snack and lunchtimes are carefully monitored. During the Pandemic Prevention Period, eating is not a social activity in the way that it normally would be.

  • Students wash their hands before and after eating
  • Proper manners are important to minimise risk
  • Screens between older students provide a further level of safety

Lunch

  • Lunch will be eaten in the normal lunch spaces.
  • Social distancing will be provided
  • Children will be provided with individually wrapped cutlery

Water

  • Each student has their own named water bottle
  • Sharing water bottles is prohibited
  • Water bottles are kept separate (in children’s lockers)
  • If a student’s water bottle is empty, they must ask an adult to fill it if in Early Years
  • Adults are trained to use water dispensers hygienically.
Physical Break Times

Our children will play outside at normal playtimes and lunchtimes with other students in their phase ‘bubble.’

Medical Procedures

If possible Covid-19 symptoms emerge during the school day, the student or adult is referred directly to the Isolation Room. Anyone displaying symptoms should leave the campus as quickly as possible and be assessed by a Doctor.

Any adult or student who is sent home must provide a medical certificate and receive approval from the Head of Junior School before returning to Campus.

Non-Covid illness or injury

If a student has non-Covid symptoms or injuries, the usual Health Centre and Nurse procedures are followed.

PE and Sport

Students follow their normal PE curriculum programme and lessons will be outside as much as is possible.

Students wear their PE kits on PE days so changing is not required.

Each personal, named water bottle is taken to PE lessons and placed at distance from each other.

Please have a look at our explanation videos for parents and children below:

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